Cover photo for Eugene David Lockyear's Obituary
Eugene David Lockyear Profile Photo

Eugene David Lockyear

July 17, 1945 — March 17, 2024


Eugene David Lockyear


Born on July 17, 1945, in Evansville, Indiana, Eugene David Lockyear passed away March 17, 2024, in Nashville, Tennessee, after a battle with cancer. He was preceded in death by his parents Ralph and Alvera Lockyear and his son David Wells Lockyear. He is survived by his wife of 57 years Shayron McLemore Lockyear, his daughter Gina Lockyear Russell (Emmett, IV), and his grandchildren Sabrina, Hawkins, and Ruby Mae. He also leaves behind his brother-in-law and great friend Paul McLemore as well as nieces, nephews, and great-nieces and nephews.


An athlete all his life, Gene began competing as a youth in the Pony League, at Bosse High School, and at Vanderbilt University where he earned a basketball scholarship. During his junior year of high school, he was on the 1962 State Championship basketball team and set the state record in the shot put, a record he held for many years. He was also awarded the Robert S. Hinshaw Mental Attitude Award for scholarship, leadership, and athleticism. While at Vanderbilt he competed in the shot put on the track team, played basketball from 1963-68, achieved Academic All SEC honors for three years, and earned the academic honor Phi Beta Kappa his junior year. A muscular presence on the court, he was known as "The Hammer" but off the court as "The Gentle Giant". He graduated with a BS and an MA in geology.


Professionally, Gene began his career as the Division Geologist for the State of Tennessee in Solid Waste Management. With Tennessee's solid waste program from the beginning, he set the standards for permit eligibility at landfill sites across the state, many of which remain in operation today. In 1974 he joined Dixie Oil Company and in 1984, along with long-time friend Jerry Southwood, started East Tennessee Consultants (E.T.C.), an oil and natural gas company.


Known to his friends and family as a lover of crossword puzzles, Gene would appreciate one final clue to the man behind the accolades (2 words, 12 letters): "larger than life"; "one of a kind"; the "American Ideal"; "hero to the young"; "gracious, humble, entertaining"; "loyal, hardworking, honest"; "a man of integrity" . . . Answer: GENE LOCKYEAR!


A Visitation and service will be at West Harpeth Funeral Home - 6962 Charlotte Pike, Nashville, TN, 37209 on Friday, March 29. Visitation 11:00-1:00 Service 1:00-2:00. 


In lieu of flowers his family asks that donations be made to the Nashville Humane Association or to the Wounded Warrior Project.

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